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African Threading: Everything You Need To Know

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The Enduring Allure of African Threading

I’ve always been fascinated by the rich traditions of African culture, and African threading is no exception. This ancient practice isn’t just a means to an end for fabulous hair; it’s a testament to the wisdom of our ancestors, carefully preserved over time. Threading isn’t a new fad—it’s a longstanding ritual that has proven its worth in natural hair care, respected for generations far and wide.


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African Threading for Stretching and Growing Natural Hair

I love the versatility that comes with African threading. This age-old technique is not just about keeping your hair neat and tidy, it’s also about promoting growth and stretching your curls without using heat

Using black thread, I carefully wrap my hair, section by section. As I do, I can almost feel each strand thanking me for avoiding the potential damage from blow dryers and flat irons.

In my experience, regular threading has contributed to my hair’s length over time, it’s a hairstyle my mum used to do for me when I was much younger (which I hated by the way because it wasn’t trendy back then)

It’s a low-manipulation hairstyle that seems to support my natural hair’s strength and elasticity. By threading, I’m not just styling my hair, I’m also setting the stage for steady growth and robust health.

Maintaining this kind of care for my hair is crucial, as curls are prone to breaking when not properly nurtured. African threading allows me to stretch my hair gently, paving the way for versatile styles that show off length without compromising on health. Each time I thread, it’s a win-win for both style and substance.



Moisturising Matters When it Comes To African Threading

Before I start the threading process, treating my curls to ample moisture is a step I never skip.

Dry, brittle strands just don’t have the elasticity and resilience needed for wrapping, but well-moisturised hair can handle the tension with grace.

I like to use a leave in conditioning cream, one that boasts natural ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil are perfect for seeping deep into my hair fibers.

The application is straightforward. I section my hair into manageable parts, apply generous amounts of leave in conditioner, and comb through from root to tip, ensuring every strand is coated.

Doing this not only preps my hair for threading but also turns it into a strong and pliable canvas, ready for the art of African hair threading.


Your Step-by-Step Guide to African Threading

I started by moisturising my hair thoroughly as mentioned above, ensuring that each strand gets well coated.

I then take the time to detangle every section, making sure that my hair will be easy to work with.

Once my hair feels ready, I part it into sections. I prefer working with smaller areas for more control and even threading. Grabbing my black thread, I tie a knot at the root of the hair, close to the scalp but not too tight.

I then wrap the thread around each section, moving downwards in a corkscrew pattern.  Imagine twirling spaghetti around a fork.

I keep the tension consistent being careful not to pull too hard.  I then secure the thread with another knot at the end.

Finally, I repeat this for all sections, ensuring I cover each one.

The result? My hair is neatly threaded and stretched. The best part of all of this is that I haven’t had to use any heat at all.


Threading Techniques and Tips

Let me walk you through the finer points of mastering African threading.

You should always start by selecting the right type of thread. I can’t stress enough how crucial this is. You want to go for a glossy nylon thread that’s strong yet gentle on your hair to avoid any snags and breakage.

When you are ready to start wrapping your natural hair, start close to the roots and work your way down to the ends in corkscrew pattern.

Make sure the thread isn’t too tight.  You’ll want to make sure your hair is threaded tightly but not to the point where you could cause damage to your strands. 

The more you begin to wrap your hair the more you will master the wrapping technique.  Your fingers will naturally find their rhythm.

It’s good practice to leave a little unwrapped hair at the ends. This way you can protect the fragile tips of your curls and prevent them from any potential threading wear and tear. 


Caring for Your Hair and Scalp During Threading

Maintaining a healthy scalp is as crucial as the styling process itself. This means giving your scalp consistent care to support hair growth.

I like to massage my scalp with oils such as Vitamin C and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This encourages circulation and feeds my roots the nutrients they need.

Throughout the duration of wearing African thread, I make it a ritual to keep my hair and scalp hydrated.

Dryness can be a real issue, but by spritzing your hair with a hydrating mist of water every few days can make a world of difference. 

 At night, sleeping with a satin scarf protects my style and prevents any moisture loss. These simple steps help ensure my hair remains strong and continues to grow even while it’s threaded.


Capturing the Process: A Visual Tutorial

If you prefer to see what it’s like to wrap your hair in real life then you’ll want to check out this video.


Final Thoughts on African Threading

As I wrap up the talk on African threading, I reflect on its rich cultural heritage and the wonderful way it blends tradition with modern hair care. This technique has withstood the test of time for the reasons I have explained above. I’ve learned it’s more than just a styling method, it’s a way to nurture my curls without having to rely on heat.

If you’ve never tried African threading before, now is your chance to do just that. 

Remember to keep your hair hydrated and handle the thread with care. Listen to what your hair likes and needs, and be patient.

I encourage you to weave the beauty of African threading into your life. It’s a style statement as well as a protective measure.


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